TOPEKA, Kan. – An abortion doctor plans to ask for an investigation of the state attorney general and Bill O'Reilly over comments by the Fox television host that he got information from Kansas abortion records, the doctor's attorneys said Saturday.
Dr. George Tiller said he will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Monday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and take possession of the records of 90 patients from two clinics.
Attorney General Phill Kline obtained the records recently after a two-year battle that prompted privacy concerns. He has said he sought the records to review them for evidence of possible crimes including rape and illegal abortions.
During a Friday night broadcast of "The O'Reilly Factor," the conservative host said a "source inside" told the show that Tiller performs late-term abortions when a patient is depressed, which O'Reilly deemed "executing babies."
O'Reilly also said his show has evidence that Tiller's clinic and another unnamed clinic have broken Kansas law by failing to report potential rapes with victims ages 10 to 15.
A spokeswoman for Kline, who received redacted copies of the records Oct. 24, said Saturday he doesn't know how O'Reilly obtained the information.
"We don't know anything about Mr. O'Reilly's inside source," spokeswoman Sherriene Jones said. "I assumed he was talking about somebody on the inside of the abortion clinics."
Kline, an abortion opponent and Republican in a tight race with Democrat Paul Morrison, was interviewed by O'Reilly during the segment.
"Our information says that on almost every medical sheet — and obviously we have a source inside here — it says, 'depression,"' O'Reilly told Kline during the broadcast. "I don't know whether you have that information or not — I don't know — but that's what it says."
Pedro Irigonegaray, who represents Tiller and the clinics, said it was "preposterous" that the information would come from an insider at one of the clinics.
"This has been our concern from the beginning, that if he ended up with these records, that just this type of event would occur. Our worst nightmare has happened," Irigonegaray said. "Women in America deserve better than this."
It wasn't clear Saturday whether O'Reilly's source had broken state or federal laws by divulging patient information or whether O'Reilly or his staff had viewed any records themselves. A request to Fox in Washington to interview O'Reilly or someone associated with his show wasn't answered Saturday.
Kline, one of the nation's foremost abortion opponents, has said the targets of his investigation are rapists, sex offenders with child victims, and doctors involved in illegal abortions. Those could include doctors performing illegal late-term abortions or those failing to report abuse of a child.
The clinics had argued that giving the attorney general access to the records would invade patients' privacy.
Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson subpoenaed the records at Kline's request in September 2004, concluding there was probable cause to believe they contained evidence of crimes. The documents Kline received were edited so that individual patients could not be identified.